WEST SAYVILLE, N.Y. - Loved ones and elected officials on Friday broke ground on a Navy SEAL museum named after the late Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a Medal of Honor recipient and a Long Island native.
Murphy died while leading a SEAL unit in Afghanistan in 2005.
"I think he'd like it that his brothers in the uniform in the military are being honored but I also think he'd love the idea that young kids are going to get something out of it and they're our future," said Gold Star mom, Maureen Murphy,
Murphy's father credited public and private donations, along with community involvement. He said the project is a culmination of a dream.
"Here's a physical structure that will honor, not Michael, will honor our special operators and war heroes living and dead who put their lives on the line for us to preserve our freedom," Dan Murphy said.
"The museum will have features, displays, and exhibits that will showcase special naval warfare operators," Vince Calvosa, the director of construction, said. "The Sea Cadet side of the building will have classroom and training space for the cadets."
The LT Michael P. Murphy Navy SEAL Museum will mark history as the first of its kind in the Northeast. It holds special meaning for Suffolk County, which is home to the largest veteran population in the state.
"Being an American, being in this country is a gift, it's a privilege, it's an honor, it's lucky to have been born here and be an American," County Executive Steve Bellone said. "And Michael Murphy gave his life to protect that gift."
Work on the project has been funded through grants and donations. It's expected to move quickly. The foundation will be poured by the end of December and a ribbon cutting should happen by this time next year.